by Richard de Wilde
Our primary focus is producing top quality vegetables for our thousands of customers throughout the Midwest region. Our silt loam valley fields are prime land for vegetable production with rich soils mixed with sand and silt loam deposited in this valley over thousands of years. Our tillable land for vegetable production on the land we own is about 40 acres, however our total property is about 500 acres. There are another 60 acres of hillside fields that were tilled in the late 1800’s, sometimes with disastrous erosion problems. These have since been converted to pastures for grazing animals. This is a much more appropriate use for the land and helps to prevent invasive plants such as prickly ash, multiflora rose, sumac and unwanted trees from taking over. Beyond vegetable ground and pasture, we still have over 400 acres of woods that are not suitable for either vegetables or animals.
|Armando logging on the hillsides surrounding our farm.|
|Manuel and Nano Morales stacking wood|
to our fields or were left from previous logging. We have tried to put this resource to use by using much of the wood for firewood to fuel clean-burning stoves which heat as many as 6 buildings on our farm. We also saved 15,000 board feet of lumber that, after kiln drying, was made into paneling and flooring that we were able to use in our new home. We have a great satisfaction in ‘knowing’ the trees that became our house! We learned a lot in the process and want to continue to sustainably manage our woods well into the future. However, our on-farm needs for wood are limited in comparison to the amount of this resource available to us. Thus, we are now considering options that would make this resource available in a variety of ways to many of our customers who may also have a use for wood. Perhaps you are considering building a home or have a remodeling project and would like to use wood for flooring, paneling to cover walls or ceilings, cabinets, or furniture. You could quite literally choose the trees that would end up in your new house, addition or room. If you are planning a project and are interested in wood products, give us a call and we can send you samples of wood, paneling and flooring.
|Richard preparing to haul a load of freshly |
sawed board to the kiln to be dried.
|Sawing logs into boards at Harmony Valley Farm.|
It is exciting to learn more about this valuable, beautiful natural resource that we are blessed to have on our property. Our goal is to preserve and care for our woods well into the future and set the precedent for the generations of caretakers of this land that will follow in our footsteps. We have a lot of logistics to explore and many more details to work out, but we’re excited to see what the future may hold.